Health authorities are telling us to replace saturated fats, found in animal products like meat, cheese and yogurt, with vegetable oils. Most of them are even more toxic for your health than sugar, though.
They are called vegetable oils to make them sound healthy and natural, but they’re anything but and certainly don’t come from vegetables. In reality, vegetable oils are dangerous to health, and furthermore, they’re not even really vegetable oils, but industrial seed oils.
Why "vegetable" oils are bad for you, a thread that could save you from ill health and early death.
— Rob W. James (@Rob_NBF) June 7, 2020
We can distinguish two groups of oils; the benevolent and the malevolent ones.
The benevolent oils are:
- Olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Palm oil
And the malevolent oils are:
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Canola oil
- Peanut oil
- Corn oil
- Soy oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rice oil
The oils in the first group are being extracted with minimal processing and mainly contain saturated and monounsaturated fats. Those in the second group are extracted with extreme methods, making them ultra processed foods, and are very high in polyunsaturated fats.
Restaurants and the food industry use mostly the oils in the second group because they are way cheaper. In the early 1900s, Procter and Gamble came up with the idea to turn these toxic waste products into cooking oils. What had originally been used for candle and soap, was later discovered could be used to hydrogenate the oil into a solid that resembled animal fats.
They even paid the American Heart Association to promote vegetable oils as a healthy alternative to animal fats in the 1940s. This has turned out to be a great investment because modern day nutrition advice is still based on these old recommendations.
Vegetable oil consumption went from 11 pounds per person per year to 59 in one century, together with the increase in chronic diseases, making the use it very profitable for both food and pharmaceutical industry.
I highly recommend you to watch this video on the topic.
The malevolent oils are very bad for two reasons:
The malevolent oils are anything but natural. To extract oil from these seeds they heat them to extremely high temperatures so they oxidise and then press them under very high pressure with industrial machinery. The oils are then refined by heating to a high temperature and adding sodium hydroxide (lye), and finally, degummed, bleached, and deodorized.
Think about it. When you press an olive, you’ll get oil. When you press a coconut, you’ll get oil. But when you press a soybean or a sunflower seed, you’ll get nothing. Industrial chemicals and solvents are being used to extract oil, change its colour, and remove the unpleasant smell.
The malevolent oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids. Those fatty acids aren’t intrinsically harmful, we need them to survive. However, we need omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to be roughly in balance, like 1:1.
This is linked to skin and many other types of cancer, and the reason you get sunburned so fast. An imbalance may contribute to a great number of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, autism, acne and autoimmune responses.
So omega-3 fats are essential fats that you must get from your diet. They have important benefits for your heart, brain and metabolism. Omega-6 fats as well are essential fats that are an important source of energy for the body. However, the Western diet contains way too many.
Vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats, which oxidise easily due to their molecular structure, both in your pantry and in your body. They end up in your cell membranes, and when they oxidise there they damage cell molecules.
It’s nearly impossible to fix your omega ratio by simply eating more sources of omega-3. Because omega-6 fatty acids are so ubiquitous, you should eat 20 to 50 times more omega-3 fatty acids than you do now.
You’ll achieve a healthy ratio by cutting down on omega-6 intake rather than increasing omega-3 intake (via negativa). In other words, avoiding omega-6 like the plague will improve your omega ratio drastically.
You can do this by:
- Stop using vegetable oils for cooking.
- Throw away margarine.
- Don’t buy foods where vegetable oils are on the ingredients list.
- Don’t eat out that often.
- Don’t buy processed foods, so avoid basically everything in a box or package (80% of supermarket products).
- Focus on whole foods.
- Eat animal fats such as meat, fish, cheese and yogurt.
- Eat other healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil and avocados.
- Use butter, olive oil or coconut oil for cooking.
- Take fish oil supplements.
- Eat real vegetables.
It’s not realistic to think that you will completely eliminate toxic vegetable oils from your life, unless you never eat anything you didn’t buy or prepare yourself. Life has to be fun, after all.
If you manage to eliminate them from your day to day life though, you don’t have to stress out if you get some from eating out or another social event.
Products that contain vegetable oils are, among many others:
- Cookies and pastries
- Breakfast cereals
- Fried food
- Condiments, marinades, sauces and dressings
- Potato chips
- Microwaveable meals
- Everything in a box or package
- Veggie burgers
- Meal replacement products